Ariel Winter Reveals She’s Taking a Break From UCLA to Focus on Her Career (Exclusive)

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Ariel Winter is taking some time off from her college life. The 20-year-old Modern Family star started at UCLA last September, but at the Thursday premiere of her new film, The Last Movie Star, she revealed to ET that she’s taking a break from school.

“I do love UCLA, but at the moment I’m taking a break from it so I can continue to pursue my career and also try to have a little bit more of a life because I’ve been so busy,” Winter explained to ET's Katie Krause. “That’s really it at the moment. But I think education’s really important. I love being there. I love learning. I will continue to keep learning.”

Ariel Winter
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With Modern Family ending next season and Winter taking time off from college, she hopes to focus more on a film career.

“Really anything that comes my way that speaks to me or feels rights, something, a new character I haven’t done before,” she explained. “I’m pretty open. I like doing different things. I like trying things, so for me, it’s really whatever happens.”

In the past year, Winter has done her best to stay out of the spotlight except when necessary, a move she told ET was intentional.

Levi Meaden and Ariel Winter
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“I think the key to doing that is to try to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible unless you’re doing something that you want people to see,” she said of navigating Hollywood. “Having every little aspect of your life in the public eye is really hard because it leaves more room for criticism and I just want to live.”

An important part of life for Winter is her actor boyfriend, Levi Meaden. The pair have both opened up about their matching peanut butter and cheese finger tattoos, and when ET noted the significance of them sharing the ink on their ring fingers, Winter got coy.

“It means something that in a few years would be great,” she dished.  

The Last Movie Star is exclusively on DirecTV on Feb. 22 and in theaters March 30.

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